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In 10 years will employers be more willing to hire an A+ online Harvard "graduate" or a B+ physical Harvard graduate? I think the demand for exceptional online talent will be higher than we think today. As for cheating in the Age of Google: the fact that people CAN and DO look up factual information routinely via Google and Wikipedia today should not be ignored or overcome within the educational system, but rather accepted and embraced. For too long exams have been based on regurgitating memorized facts, essentially ignoring the reality that anyone with an internet connection can look up anything, anytime. There is now far less need to memorize the academic minutia of years past. In this regard, all university exams should trend towards the open book format for both physical and virtual students, with the emphasis being placed on applied reasoning rather than regurgitation. This, coupled with multiple choice formats and stringent exam time limits, should allow for mass grading - which is currently the key limitation to expansion of accreditation of MOOCs. To further prevent cheating, all students would take exams at the same time regardless of their time zone, or else students in different time zones take different versions of the exam. Whoever designs software that can accurately correct handwritten exam answers (think math, engineering, biology) will complete the MOOC revolution.
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Nov 29, 2012